Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Granola Anyone?

I love granola!!!  It's a great source of fiber, protein and carbohydrates.  I like to make my own because you can customize it any way you like.  Add in the type of dried fruit and nuts that you like- the fat in nuts is a good type of fat, by the way!  I use my granola for breakfast in the morning- sprinkled on organic yogurt, and also in my homemade granola bars.  Below is the recipe for a basic granola and also for the granola bars I make.


3 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup canola oil- I only use organic canola- because of the possibilities of gmo's.  Or you can use coconut or any other type of oil that you like
1/4 cup honey- I use raw
1/4 of demerera sugar- an unrefined type of sugar that looks like brown sugar- larger crystals than regular sugar and a brown color.  Or you can use an organic brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract (or a little more if you like vanilla flavor)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 salt
2 cups add-ins like dried fruit, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with natural parchment paper (regular parchment paper is coated with chemicals!!)  Whisk together the oil, honey, demerera, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.  Pour over the oats and toss well.  Spread mixture on prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 5 minutes.  Let cool completely, then transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in add-ins.  Store in an airtight container.

Granola Bars

4 TBL butter
1/4 cup demerera sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups of granola
1 cup of puffed rice cereal- you will want to get this from a healthy grocery store- the "normal" brands of rice cereal contain chemical preservatives that are cancer causing.
1/4 cup of dried fruit or nuts ( if you have a lot of this in your granola- you do not have to add more)

Put butter, demerera, honey and cinnamon in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring, reduce heat and simmer for a couple of minutes.  Remove from heat and add in granola, rice cereal and fruit or nuts.  Stir until well coated and combined.  Pour into an 11 x 7 (or two 9 x 5 pans) foil lined and greased pan.  Use a piece of parchment paper that has been lightly oiled and lay on top of the granola- press down and evenly spread the mixture into the pan- well compacted. Let cool and then remove to a cutting board and cut into about 16-18 bars.  About 130 calories each

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